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Wetland Evaluation and Delineation Program

Wetland Communities - Freshwater Marshes

freshwater marsh

View of the Everglades, the groundcover in this view is primarily Eleocharis cellulosa with sawgrass and tree islands (primarily composed of subtropical species).

Freshwater marshes - are wetlands without canopies that are generally dominated by herbacous emergent vegetation. In south Florida the land is flat and freshwater marshes can become very large and broad. The Everglades is the largest freshwater marsh in Florida. There is no canopy and in the groundcover, herbaceous, perennial plants dominate the landscape. There is considerable variation as to the dominance of a particular species. In the everglades, sawgrass and spikerush tends to dominate, while in the Big Cypress area various grasses tend to dominate. See illustrated plant ID cards for common plants.

Common plants in south Florida freshwater marshes.


Botanical name Common name DEP status
Aletris lutea yellow colicroot FAC
Bacopa caroliniana blue waterhyssop OBL
Bacopa monnieri herb of grace OBL
Buchnera americana American bluehearts UPL
Cladium jamaicense sawgrass OBL
Crinum americanum southern swamp-lily OBL
Dichromena latifolia sandswamp whitetop OBL
Eleocharis cellulosa Gulf Coast spikerush OBL
Hymenocallis palmeri alligatorlily OBL
Hyptis alata musky mint FACW
Juncus megacephalus bighead rush OBL
Justicia angusta pineland waterwillow OBL
Kosteletzkya virginica seashore mallow OBL
Leersia hexandra southern cutgrass OBL
Ludwigia sp. ludwigia; water-primrose  
Pontederia cordata pickerelweed OBL
Proserpinaca sp. mermaid-weed OBL
Rhynchospora inundata horned beakrush OBL
Sabatia stellaris rose of Plymouth FACW
Sacciolepis striata American cupscale OBL
Sagittaria lancifolia arrowhead OBL
Schizachyrium scoparium little bluestem FAC
Spartina patens saltmeadow cordgrass FACW
Thalia geniculata thalia; fire flag OBL
Typha sp. cattail OBL
Xyris jupicai Richard's yellow-eyed-grass FACW

Last updated: June 30, 2015

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